The Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways and Ayush, Shri Sarbananda Sonowal, officially introduced the new guidelines for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) called ‘Sagar Samajik Sahayyog.’ These guidelines, formulated by the Ministry of Ports, Shipping & Waterways, empower ports to directly engage in CSR activities. The launch event was attended by the Minister of State for Ports, Shipping & Waterways, Shri Shantanu Thakur, and the Minister of State for Ports, Shipping & Waterways, Shripad Yesso Naik.
More About the CSR Guidelines
The revised CSR guidelines enable ports to proactively initiate and implement projects for the betterment of local communities. These guidelines emphasize the importance of engaging local communities as partners in development and progress. By utilizing the power of CSR, ports have the potential to become significant catalysts for positive change, positively impacting the lives of people in the surrounding areas. This framework recognizes the transformative role that CSR can play in bringing about meaningful and sustainable improvements in various aspects of community life.
- The recently announced CSR guidelines will have a direct impact on projects and programs associated with activities outlined in Section 70 of the Major Port Authorities Act, 2021.
- To facilitate the planning and execution of CSR initiatives, each major port will establish a Corporate Social Responsibility Committee.
- This committee, led by the Deputy Chairperson of the major port and consisting of two other members, will be responsible for overseeing CSR activities.
- Furthermore, each major port will develop a Corporate Social Responsibility Plan for every fiscal year.
- This plan will integrate CSR into the port’s business plan, aligning social and environmental concerns with the entity’s core operations.
These measures aim to ensure a systematic and well-coordinated approach to CSR implementation in major ports, promoting sustainable development and community welfare.
As per the new CSR guidelines, ports will be required to allocate a CSR budget based on a percentage of their net profit, which will be mandated through a Board Resolution.
- The percentage allocation will vary depending on the annual net profit of the port.
- For ports with an annual net profit of ₹100 crores or less, the CSR expenses can be fixed between 3% and 5% of their net profit.
- In the case of ports with a net profit between ₹100 crores and ₹500 crores annually, the CSR expenses can be fixed between 2% and 3% of their net profit, with a minimum of ₹3 crores.
- Ports with an annual net profit exceeding ₹500 crores can allocate CSR expenses between 0.5% and 2% of their net profit.
These CSR guidelines ensure that ports allocate a reasonable proportion of their net profit towards CSR initiatives, based on their financial performance, enabling them to contribute effectively to social and community development.
Allocation of Funds
- Under the new CSR guidelines, 20% of the CSR expenses must be allocated to specific areas. This includes earmarking funds for the Sainik Kalyan Board at the district level, the National Maritime Heritage Complex, and the National Youth Development Fund.
- Furthermore, a significant portion, specifically 78% of the funds, should be released for the social and environmental welfare of the community. This allocation aims to address various areas such as providing access to clean drinking water, promoting education, vocational training, skill development, facilitating electricity through non-conventional and renewable sources, enhancing health and family welfare, supporting livelihood promotion for economically weaker sections of society, establishing community centers and hostels, and more.
- Additionally, 2% of the total CSR expenses are dedicated to monitoring the projects implemented under the CSR programs by the ports. This ensures effective oversight and evaluation of the projects to ensure their successful implementation and desired impact.
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